Thailand cave rescue team begin operation to free last of trapped boys

Thailand cave rescue team begin operation to free last of trapped boys

At least nine ambulances have been waiting at the site after the leader of the rescue operation said Tuesday's aim was to bring out all five as well as a medic and three Thai Navy SEALS, who have been with the trapped boys.

Relive all the afternoon's drama from the Tham Luang cave as day three of the rescue began.

Rescue teams have already extracted eight Thai boys from the cave, and all are recovering from their ordeal in hospital and said to be in good health.

"We expect that if there is no unusual condition. the four boys, one coach, the doctor, and three SEALs who have been with the boys since the first day will come out today", he told a news conference to loud cheering.

Eight boys were brought out alive over the last couple of days.

The drama has captivated people worldwide as cave experts grappled with the problem of how to free the young, malnourished boys, some of whom couldn't swim, from a flooded cavern as monsoon rains threatened to raise water levels even further.

Prayer and heart emoji abound on Thai social media, along with pig emoji symbolising the 12 players and coach from the Wild Boar soccer academy. A health official said Tuesday that all eight boys are in "high spirits".

Two of the boys are now being treated for minor lung infections. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha was scheduled to make a second visit to the scene late on Monday and the president of soccer's governing body, FIFA, Gianni Infantino, today invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday if they make it out of the cave in time. "They can have normal food but we are making sure it is easily digestible, not spicy or too strongly flavoured".

Heavy rain began falling Tuesday as rescuers worked to replenish oxygen tanks for the third mission inside the cave. On Monday night, Musk posted on Twitter that he had "just returned' from the still-flooded cave, with photos of the rescue site where a team of swelling global experts have been working around the clock since the team was found".

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Dr. Jedsada Chokedamrongsook, the permanent secretary of the Thai Health Ministry, said the first group of boys taken out on Sunday were aged 14 to 16.

Jesada said the first four taken out are eating well.

Narongsak Osottanakorn followed a similar protocol on day one and day two of the rescue, withholding confirmation until the mission for the day had ended.

Four boys and the coach are still trapped.

Four boys and their soccer coach remain in the cave.

Thai policemen stand guard near a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand Sunday, July 8, 2018.

Their diet has been upgraded from diluted porridge to bread and chocolate - their two requests this morning.

So far the group have been "kept away" from physical contact with their parents until the risk of infection is over and doctors have only allowed family and loved ones to see them through glass. He's posted several videos on his YouTube page warning of the dangers. Musk said he left the equipment in case rescuers could use it in future.

Samarn Poonan, 38, a former member of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit, died last Thursday night as he worked underwater in the cave complex, laying oxygen tanks along a potential exit route.

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